Core Radio Interview Transcript with Sasha Ivanov – Sunday October 1, 2016

“Aright good morning and welcome to core radio this is lootz on a Sunday morning and it’s a little early I know normally a little later but I have somebody from across the world that is here today, and I think you all know him. His name is Sasha.”

LOOTZ: “Aright good morning and welcome to core radio this is lootz on a Sunday morning and it’s a little early I know normally a little later but I have somebody from across the world that is here today, and I think you all know him. His name is Sasha.”

SASHA: “Hi everybody.”

LOOTZ: “We’ve been waiting and waiting on full nodes here, patiently. Those of us like me who are patient are happy to wait. We knw that if we wait longer more bugs will get worked out, that the possibilities of exploits (is lower). One little exploit can damage the whole building (sic). I know you’ve been doing a lot of, I think they call it a hack-a-thon right? How’s that going?”

SASHA: “It’s going pretty well I think. Some people are really active. We have found several bugs with their help and we are eliminating them, and squashing them. We might have started a little early; we could’ve done some stress tests on our own, but it’s ok. Some people started looking for bugs and I decided to move on with the hack-a-thon. The most active guy is BCDEV. He found several major issues. Well, they’re not all major issues, but they’re pretty big. Some thong are big so… we fixed it and the network is much more stable. The hack-a-thon is a great thing; community testing is great. In peer-to-peer software you can do some (unit?) tests and you can create a test environment. When you launch the main net, some bugs are going to be found anyway. I’m glad we announced the hack-at-thon and it’s going well. We’re glad to receive feedback from the community. It will probably last for some time more, and we are probably going to add assets on Monday. So, we’ll test the assets because we have the code. Why wait? We’ll test it out and then release the full nodes together with the assets.”

LOOTZ: “Are the assets like, tokens?”

SASHA: “Yes. Custom token creation and transfer, and some other features, but probably not centralized matching. That should come later because we will need more tests for this. But, creation and transfer will be there, and also attachments to transactions. You’ll be able to, for example, to accept payments easily at the website. So you just generate a different attachment, a different field in the transaction with a transaction identifier, and you can accept payments at merchant websites. So, we’ll have attachments, asset creation, and asset transfer on the test-net, on Monday. The code is there; it’s on our GitHub. We just have to commit it to the test net and start testing it too… We wanted to release the full nodes without the assets, but the peer-to-peer protocol turned out to be a little bit more complicated so we needed some more time to find all the bugs. So at the same time we coded the tokens. So now we have the tokens, and we will add them to the test net, and then (we will) release it all together.”

LOOTZ: “So, if you didn’t release it with assets, the main feature would be the LPOS right; … people could lease their coins on large servers? How does the LPOS work again?”

SASHA: “Yes let me explain this very simple idea. Probably will be tweaked along the way but generally it’s a very simple thing. You combine dPOS (delegated proof of stake) from BitShares with account leasing from NXT. So, in Bitshares, you have to vote for the miners’ nodes, and then the miners can do the transaction confirmations. In our case, we want to (be able to) make users vote with their money, so to say. So they just lease their balance to the miner nodes and through this they can vote effectively for forgers. The forgers secure the network. It’s some kind of combination of leasing and delegated-POS from Bitshares. I think it’s a novel idea more or less. It’s a combination of some ideas that were tested and I think it will work pretty well in our case.”

LOOTZ: “Have you guys been testing that too?”

SASHA: “No, not yet. It’s going to be the next major release. We have to iron out several things there with account leasing, and stuff like that. We will have to have a special transaction for account leasing. We have to create it. The general idea will be to just limit the mining nodes. Thus, you’re able to achieve high throughput and very fast transactions. Our goal is to have transactions in the range of 1000 transactions per second, or so. For this you need to have a pretty centralized system. You can’t have it on very distributed blockchain. You need to select the miners, and you can do it in a distributed way. The miners are chosen. There are like 100 of them, not more. In this case, you are able to have really high throughput. The system becomes pretty much centralized in this respect because you know which nodes are going to mine the blocks. But you select those nodes; you pick those nodes up, using the whole network. It’s a combination, the best of both approaches.”

LOOTZ: “Did I hear right? There’s only going to be 100?”

SASHA: “Yea, probably some number around 100. In this case, you’ll be able to have really fast transactions.”

LOOTZ: “If one server gets really popular, right? Say everybody decides to mine on this one server. Would that disrupt the network in any way or cause any problems you know like a 51% (attack) or something along those lines?”

SASHA: “Probably. It’s like… more or less like what happens in Bitcoin when mining pools don’t want to have the majority of the hashing power. Miners stop sending their hashes to those mining pools. In our case, people shouldn’t want to lease their forging power to those nodes, as it would disrupt the network. There will be hardcoded checks in place, which will prevent these types of attacks. But, I think those attacks are not really feasible. If people start leasing their balance to one node they jeopardize the whole network, and they realize that. There is a tradeoff between the desire of users to make some money and understanding that they can hurt the network by sending all their tokens to one node. It’s more or less like in Bitcoin, but we will also have some checks in place so the nodes can’t have 51%, or all the mining power. “

LOOTZ: “Maybe you and your team can have a backup just in case?… Just in case someone tries something like this, you can put up another one, with a better offer (reward).”

SASHA: “Yea absolutely and we’re going to have some check-pointing in the beginning something like Peercoin. I want to make sure our network doesn’t get broken, so we’re going to have some kind of centralized check-pointing at launch then we will distribute.”

LOOTZ: “I was thinking… if someone even tried doing something like this, they’re going to need a pretty big, stable server, and that’s hard to find… You’re going to have (to have) thousands of people on one (server). It’s not going to be sustainable.”

SASHA: “Yea and you can always withdrawal you lease and take your money back. You can see that this particular node has too much forging power. So you just take back from the node. People who are watching the network can see that something is going wrong so they just take their money back (from the node). It’s a dynamical system; of course there can be some attacks. But they are pretty mild, I think.”

LOOTZ: “I remember that option in NXT. So how does that work, when you lease to a node? Is that done through the wallet?”

SASHA: “Yea there is a special transaction for this. You just select the node, and you do the leasing. You lease it for some period of time, for example, 24 hours or more. We have another transaction that can take the money back before the end of the term. Through this, we will be able to control the miners better. If a miner is doing something bad, the (users) take their money back.”

LOOTZ: “So we have tokens coming out soon on the release of the full nodes. Then we’re going to have the LPOS after that?”

SASHA: “Yea sure. In the beginning, no, we’re going to have more or less what NXT has. A completely open network where everybody can mine. Then we’ll build LPOS on top of that.”

LOOTZ: “Tell me about this new peer database internal buffer. What does it improve if launched with the full nodes?”

SASHA: “… There were some problems with Scorex because it was not a production ready system; it was a test system. The peer network layer was pretty basic there. You could push fake peers to a node, and completely flood it with those fake peers. The node tries to connect to them and push more data, and the node would go down. So we made a buffer; you check all the peers first. Only then would you put them in the database. They just stay in memory… If there are too many bad peers from some node, you just blacklist it. So it’s a necessary feature and otherwise it wouldn’t work. We’re probably reinventing the wheel here because in the main system of Bitcoin, something like this exists. Take into account though, the totally new codebase; we’ve had to redo some problems from scratch, even solving problems that were solved in existing production systems. We have to do this anyway guys. Otherwise, we won’t have a robust system. We had to make sure that we eliminated all the bugs.”

LOOTZ: “Hey guys out there… If you want to help test this on the test-net before it comes out, where could they do that Sasha? Where can all the hackers out there come and help you hack the technology before it comes out?”

SASHA: “Yea just join our slack channel…The Test-Net Maintainers channel – ‘where all the cool guys hang’ (sic). They’re all there. You’ll find all the instructions for the hack-a-thon. There are many manuals there for node installation, working with Scala, Eclipse, and maybe tweaking some coding. Just join our slack and find ‘Test Net Maintainers’ channel, and all the necessary information.”

LOOTZ: “For incentive, what are the bounties like if they find/ fix a big, or little, problem?”

SASHA: “Major issues go for 5,000 and above Waves. So, 5000 Waves up to 15,000. It depends on the severity of the problem. We’ve paid several 5,000 bounties already. If need be, we’ll pay again. So, it’s 5000 Waves for a basic major issue, and it can be increased. 5,000 Waves I like around, $1,000 at the moment. So, it’s ok. It’s quite interesting. For example, BcDev was really effective at finding bugs so he received several bounties. I think if you really want to help us, you can find something too. It pays off; you can get around $1000 for one bug.”

LOOTZ: “If you’re out there and you know Linux very well… get involved. Get in here and maybe you can maybe make a few bucks. Who knows, you might be a star… BcDev is already a star.”

SASHA: “Yea and actually BcDev is going to work with us on a permanent basis. After we finish testing, we are going to offer him a salary. He is a very effective and resourceful guy so we would be happy to work with him.”

LOOTZ: “So I heard something about the wallet. The wallet is moving to a different type of GUI? …Something known as AngularJS instead of jQuery?”

SASHA: “Yea we are working with a German company, Tom’s Apps, whom will be developing the mobile applications for us. To make for an easy export of our code, we need to transfer to AngularJS. If we transfer to AngularJS, we can just release on iOS and Android at the same time. You don’t need to make a native application for iOS for example… It can even work on desktop. It’s pretty nice. I think at this stage, we don’t need a native app for all the platforms. We can just make a framework-based application. We are testing already. I have the Waves wallet on my phone. It looks nice, and I think we will release within a couple of weeks. As soon as we have the nodes, we will release also the mobile wallet. You’ll be able to transfer Waves, assets, and fiat assets. It’s going to be cool.”

LOOTZ: “That’s really exciting. It’s exciting for me; I have an Android phone.”

SASHA: “Yea, I have the app. So, you can ask me (on Slack) and I will add you to the testers list and you can install it.”

LOOTZ: “… So is it all versions of Android? If you have an older version would it work?”

SASHA: “Yes it should work. Its all framework based so it depends on the framework. I think it makes sure that it works on as many versions of Android as possible. At the same time, it works on iOS and, actually, it can even work on desktop. We have not done it yet, but it’s possible. So, you could have the application for desktop, on top of (in addition to) our chrome plugin. You could have a proper desktop application that could be pretty nice.”

LOOTZ: “So, do you envision other types of mobile features – just for the mobile wallet? … Maybe like an encrypted chat? That way, you can chat from mobile to mobile.”

SASHA: “Yea sure we’re going to start doing messaging. A new coder is going to join us next week, and he will probably start working on messaging. We will integrate messaging into the mobile application. The mobile wallet will be mainly for fiat transfers and chats probably. Also, you will be able to do some stuff with assets like issue, and stuff like this. Probably you won’t be able to trade it, at least initially, because it is complicated GUI wise. But, you’ll be able to transfer dollars and Euros on the blockchain. You’ll be able to maintain secure communication with your friends. So, it will be a useful wallet.”

LOOTZ: “That’s’ really exciting. There are a lot of cool things coming. I’m very patient. People in crypto that have been here along time like me… You know, I didn’t realize how long I’ve been here. I’ve been here a long time… You see all these guys trying to trade every day saying… ‘It’s not going up! I have to sell! I have to buy!’ For those that have been here a long time; you know it’s not an overnight thing… You hold it, and you live. You know eventually, one day, it’s going to work. Every coin has its day. So all these investors that think they’re going to make thousands of dollars or millions of dollars overnight, it’s never going to happen.”

SASHA: “Sure. It’s too early guys. I mean, we started the ICO in April; we’ve existed half a year, even less. The ICO was over in June, and we’re here in September, so 3 months. It’s probably a little premature to really hope for some huge pump of Waves tokens. Have a little patience.”

LOOTZ: “Yea. They have to relax and enjoy their lives. Enjoy it when something new comes out. It seems like there’s so much fire in their pants lately, you know? I’m happy to hear updates every once in a while. There are some coins that people invest in that don’t even have developers.”

SASHA: “Well, we should move fast of course; it is important. If we lose dynamics, it would be bad for the general development. At the same time we have to find balance between the speed of our coding and the security of the network…”

LOOTZ: “You can’t rush the code onto the market. There’s somebody out there that didn’t attend the hack-a-thon that could probably break it (hypothetically). You don’t want that to happen. So, you definitely don’t want to rush anything.”

SASHA: “If the network gets broken, it’s fucked you know. We can fix this; it’s fixable. You have to realize that at this stage everything is fixable. But, it would be bad for our image so we’d rather not have this.”

LOOTZ: “Honestly, personally, I like the price staying low. I’m not a rich guy, but it gives me time to buy a little bit every once in a while. I get a little extra in my paycheck, I buy a little bit. It’s actually a nice thing. I don’t want the price to rise too fast. I want to be able to get some, you know? Everybody out there I’m sure is like me. No one’s got that much that they can go all in, and no one is selling their houses any time soon. So, there are a lot of good things coming…”

“What was that ICO that just launched that’s kind of associated with Waves, Incent?”

SASHA: “Yea, sure. I know the people there. They are very experienced people and I wish them well. They are having a very successful ICO I think. So, it’s pretty good.”

LOOTZ: “What’s Incent about? It sounds like it’s going to be a great feature. It’s some type of incentive program?”

SASHA: “Yea. It’s a loyalty token actually. I like the idea because… The idea is from Rob (Wilson), the Incent founder… he just invented this project to make a loyalty token for merchants. It’s pretty simple actually. You just have this loyalty token, and you reward your users (customers) with the token. Its a pretty simple thing. I’ve seen several attempts to realize loyalty programs on the blockchain that failed because they were too complicated. This one is pretty straightforward. You just issue the loyalty token. When the customer buys something, they receive the token automatically. This token gets bought from the open market as soon as the user makes a transaction. So, there is some buy pressure on the open market. Through this, there is some dynamics, and the price (of the token) should probably go up. It’s a nice simple structure and I think that it should and it could really work, actually… It can become really huge. On top of that, Rob has some good connections in Australia. He signed up several merchants already and has had some commitments from merchants so several shops are going to be issuing the tokens to users. I think we have a very good ICO here and I think it’s going to be a real product. I’ve personally invested 20 Bitcoins, and I hope that it was a good investment. “

LOOTZ: “… I think it’s a really good idea because it gets normal people involved without them even knowing. People that own small businesses, big businesses… they could implement this program that he (Rob) has for no cost to them and it’ll get people involved in crypto without them even knowing. It’ll get them repeat customers… I personally know about these types of schemes, out there. You’ve got the hole-punching card – you’ve got to buy the card so you’ve got to buy the pamphlets. Then the other service charges you also to implement their program. This (Incent) is free. So, I owned a bakery; I know. I think that this could catch fire honestly.”

SASHA: “I like the simplicity. It’s a very direct approach. People don’t really need to know how it works. They don’t need to know about the blockchain. There’s going to be some kind of mobile application on the blockchain, but no one would know what is under the hood. So, it’s like a normal mobile app…. I think it’s (the Incent loyalty program) natural and people are accustomed to this. I think that it’s an interesting thing, and should really pick up steam.”

LOOTZ: “There’s one thing that you said on a previous interview kind of left people hanging. What is Chronobank?”

SASHA: “Chronobank is another Australian project. I understand the general idea, but I’m not able to talk about the details. I have to also make sure that I understand everything correctly. Chronobank is a time bank. There are dozens of time banks in Australia and in other countries too. This is a service that allows you to swap working hours. For example, you do something for your neighbor, and then your neighbor does something for you. Chronobank wants to issue some kind of token, which will be used for buying working hours so that you have standard freelancer jobs. You will be able to buy them through those tokens. It is a nice approach, and they have really good backing in Australia. They are backed by some venture funds. You should actually ask them if they can name them at this stage, but I know this. They have very good backing. They’re experienced guys with funds, and expertise and a clear understanding of the market. You should ask them how it’s going to work. When the time is right, I’ll be able to tell you more about this because I want to look into it also, a little bit deeper… Yea it’s pretty complex actually. The general idea is that you buy, with those tokens, working hours and you can trade working hours for those tokens. What I want to say here is that we are creating the infrastructure and we’ll be creating the tokens. Actually, I’m curious to know how it works, but actually I don’t have to know how it works because we’re working on the infrastructure. People can use those tokens for all kinds of projects. It’s better to ask them. Of course, in this case, because I’m talking to the team I’ll be able to tell you more when the time is right… It’s not a bank. It’s a time bank. Time banks exist and there are dozens of them actually. I didn’t know that. They exist and you can check them out. They exist in Australia and there are dozens of them, working. People use them.”

LOOTZ: “How many fiat gateways do you think will be working with Waves?”

SASHA: “At the beginning we’ll have one or two, but we have several gateways lined up at this stage and we’ll probably activate them one by one. We are also working on our own payment infrastructure, just in case; some back-up infrastructure. So, we checked the U.K. out. We’ll probably not do it in the U.K. as it’s pretty expensive and there are ways to do it in other European countries. It will be more cost effective, and we will have our own back-up fiat gateway. At the same time, we have reputable payment systems who already committed to working with us. They’ll provide the basic payment infrastructure as soon as we have our tokens. So, soon guys. At the beginning of the next week we will have the tokens on the test-net. That is guaranteed. You can check our GitHub and you can see the assets code there. What we need to do now is release it to the test net and do some testing. After that we can release it on the main net and finally release the full node codes.”

LOOTZ: “We’ve heard a bunch about incent… Will it be hosted in Waves? Is it a feature? What exactly is it?…”

SASHA: “… You guys have to realize that we are providing the infrastructure and providing the tokens. Incent is going to use our token functionality for their loyalty tokens. So, effectively, their token will be a token on the Waves blockchain.They can do whatever they want. If our API allows us to do some features, then we will be able to do them. Incent tokens are going to be tokens on the Waves blockchain. They will have some features that the Incent team will develop for them. But, that is on them, not on us. We are providing the blockchain. Our goal is to provide a stable blockchain and a stable token functionality. No blockchain has this (token functionality) at the moment; it’s strange but it’s true. To create a token, you need to go through really difficult stuff and jump through many hoops. In Ethereum it is very complicated and NXT is not so easy. We need to have a platform where you can just click and have your token issued., and use it immediately right after you issue it.”

LOOTZ: “When do you foresee Waves asset creation features to be ready for test-net tests?”

SASHA: “Yea, on Monday or Tuesday… Ok, we have the code so we have to release it to the test net. Maybe we will do internal stress testing on Monday. We’ll have a separate internal test-net. We’ll put it on the test-net and play around with it for a while. Then we can release it to the general test-net. You can see that the code is already there so we just have to release it to the test-net. Then guys you will be able to test all the features with assets first through the API, and then we will be integrating with the lite-client. So you’ll be able to do it all through the graphical interface and issue tokens with a couple of clicks. There’s going to be some testing for you if you want to help us out.”

LOOTZ: “We’ve covered most of these questions already so I’m just pleasing the people who wanted to reiterate their questions on air. We do have a couple more questions; you may find this one funny. Who is Lola Dabota and where can we get her phone number?”

SASHA: “She’s from the U.K. She’s Nigerian. She wasn’t born in Nigeria, she was born in the U.K. She’s studying in Moscow; she’s studying Russian. I think she’s a great host. We’ll be developing our show and we’ll probably do some general show about technology with her – sponsored by Waves. So, she was a student; she finished here. She graduated from university in Economics and she’ll be working for us. She’s a nice girl with a nice British accent so everybody likes her and we’re happy to work with her.”

LOOTZ: “…Once full nodes are out, will you travel to conventions and shows and show this to interested parties?”

SASHA: “Yea, I just don’t want to do it yet because we don’t have the nodes yet. As soon as we have the nodes of course I’ll be traveling to as many conferences as I can and I will be promoting really hard. But I need to have the product to promote. Soon, we will be there, and I will have the product to promote and I’ll be happily promoting as much as I can.”

LOOTZ: “… I think you’re doing a great job. If you compare you to all the developers of other coins in the past… people are lucky that you don’t disappear. Back in the day we had that problem where they’d just disappear a week later.”

SASHA: “No how could I disappear? We are completely public and everyone knows who we are. Everyone can visit our office. So, I can’t just disappear guys (laughs).”

LOOTZ: “…He’s (Sasha) always there and he’s always answering questions no matter what. You can always find him in slack.”

SASHA: “Yea absolutely I’m there everyday. You can also visit our office if you come to Moscow (laughs). We are completely open and absolutely transparent. We are working.”

LOOTZ: “The fact is, they’re working, and this is going to happen eventually.”

SASHA: “Soon, soon. Not eventually; pretty soon. The time will come, soon.”

LOOTZ: “But you know what I’m saying. The people out there who are saying ‘Oh I’m selling, or I sold’… You know, that’s unfortunate for you. I’ve been here a long time… you have to be patient. You don’t sell when they’re (coins) low. That’s just silly.”

SASHA: “People want to buy cheap, you know? People who sell because they don’t believe in the project? They do it silently. People who shout at every corner that they have just sold all of their coins? They just want to buy cheap… It’s FUD guys. It’s a primitive trick, so don’t fall for it. There are some ‘good’ trolls that can make you sell all your coins and they are scooping them up happily.”

LOOTZ: “… Don’t listen to anybody; follow your got. You see he’s here; he’s working. He’s doing his thing. It’s going to happen. There are a lot of good things coming down the line. What kind of new features do you see coming out for Waves?”

SASHA: “The most important is fiat transfers. Fast blockchain based trading with blockchain settlement and centralized matching. You’ll be able to trade your assets that can be tied to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on the blockchain. You won’t need to send your tokens somewhere. You can always retain control of your funds but at the same time you can trade them really fast. So this is a major feature. It’s pretty complicated; we have to make sure that there are no attacks on it, but we will be there. … We’re all about tokens at this stage so we want to make fiat transfers against fiat tokens on the blockchain so that you’ll be able to run your crowdfunding campaign and collect fiat currencies, not only Waves tokens or Bitcoins, but also dollars, Euros, and other fiat currencies. I think it’s a major feature. As soon as we have it, we have many start-ups that want to launch on Waves and to launch their crowdfunding campaigns. So, I think we’ll have a very different system where we have all those start-ups launching their projects. It’s going to be an explosion. As soon as we weed out all the bugs, as soon as we have all of the functionality ready, there’s going to be a totally different ecosystem and Waves will become what we want it to be. It’s going to happen really soon. As I’ve told you guys, we will be testing the assets on the test-net next week. The code is already there; you can check it. So, the time will come and it will come really soon.”

LOOTZ: “Take your time (laughs)… Sasha I love having you here once again. It’s been a while since we’ve spoken… Really appreciate you coming on this morning.”

SASHA: “Thank you for your support and your kind words. I really appreciate your support, and I really appreciate the support from our community. Guys, we can make it work together.”